Digital Underground

This Is an EP Release

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Released in the same era of expansive and humorous hip-hop debuts by De La Soul, Digable Planets, Gang Starr, and A Tribe Called Quest, Digital Underground's similarly disposed first album and follow-up EP offered a party-friendly alternative to gangsta rap with a heavy dose of P-funk, jazz, and Prince's electro-funk aesthetic. The Oakland-based crew, featuring Shock-G as alter-ego and frontman Humpty Hump, would continue to ride high with Sons of the P, but never really captured the inspired mix of their first forays into the hip-hop arena. That said, curious fans should first check out the group's maiden Sex Packets release before diving into this six-song collection; while solid in its own right, the EP does contain two non-essential remixes of tracks off of Sex Packets. And even though new cuts like the extended funk jam "Same Song" (featuring a nasty Bernie Worrell-meets-Jimmy Smith synth-organ solo), "Nuttin Nis Funky," "Arguin' on the Funk," and "Tie the Knot" are all impressive, This Is an EP Release does not expand on the sound of Sex Packets. Still, a very enjoyable selection of cuts full of top-notch rapping, samples, scratches, and elastically funky bass and beats.

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